Pride, prejudice and Theory of Everything come to DLC

Theory of everythingThe February screenings arranged by the Save the David Lean Cinema Campaign includes some old (very old) favourites, terrific examples of British film-making, as well as potential Oscar winners.

When the campaign volunteers got their hands on the keys to the Clocktower’s own arthouse cinema almost a year ago, the intention was to deliver a couple of screenings a week, usually on a Thursday.

This month, they will be showing a total of nine films, some on Tuesdays, one on a Saturday and others on Thursdays, with a total of 14 screenings in all.

With the bar’s sofas back where they belong for cinema-goers to relax with a drink before the show, and hopefully with the cinema’s air conditioning under control, this bumper month could also deliver bumper audiences, as tickets are expected to be in high-demand to see Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Stephen Hawking in the Academy Award-nominated The Theory of Everything (on Feb 19), and for the rest of an eclectic programme of main feature films and documentaries which include appearances of stars from music and the arts including James Brown, David Hockney and the much-loved Maggie Smith (for Valentine’s Day, naturally).

PrideStations of the Cross (Feb 24) is one of two foreign-language films at the DLC this month, and comes heavy with plaudits as exactly the sort of art-house movie that the David Lean Cinema was built for, while the month ends with a screening of Pride (Feb 26), in which Croydon’s own Bill Nighy is cast against type as a Welsh coal miner during the strike of the 1980s, when members of London’s LGBT community came to his pit town’s aid.

  • Tickets for all screenings are £7.50. Concessions (Freedom Pass-holders, full-time students, claimants and disabled) £6.

David Lean Cinema February programme

Get on UpAll films are at 2.30 and 7.30pm unless stated

Tue Feb 3 GET ON UP (12A) (7.30pm only)
2014 USA 139min Director: Tate Taylor
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Viola Davis, Octavia Davis, Dan Ackroyd
James Brown rose from rural poverty and juvenile detention to become a soul and funk legend. With an electrifying lead performance from Boseman, and sympathetic support from Ellis (as Bobby Byrd) and Ackroyd (as manager Ben Bart), Get On Up matches the panache of its subject, jumping through time and breaking the fourth wall. Say it loud – this is no ordinary biopic!

Thu Feb 5 TESTAMENT OF YOUTH  (12A) (11am,  2.30pm*, 7.30pm)
2014 UK 129min Director: James Kent
Stars: Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Taron Egerton, Colin Morgan, Miranda Richardson
Vera Brittain’s First World War memoir is the basis of this moving production, which achieves great visual beauty without ignoring the horrors of war. It relates how the strong-willed author’s naïve pro-war beliefs were progressively challenged by personal tragedy and her experiences as a volunteer nurse. As Vera, Vikander is “glorious… thrillingly astute”, while director Kent delivers a “careful, shaded and forthright adaptation” with “cinematic polish that feels wholly appropriate to its subject” (Telegraph).
*Subtitled for people with hearing loss.

Tue Feb 10, ELECTRICITY (15) (7.30pm)
2014 UK 96min Director: Bryn Higgins

Stars: Agyness Deyn, Lenora Crichlow, Christian Cooke, Paul Anderson, Tom Georgeson
Former supermodel Agyness Deyn makes an impressive feature debut as Lily, a determined young woman who travels from a small Tyneside resort to London to track down her brother, but is hindered but undeterred by severe epilepsy. Deyn’s vital performance “brings intensity and pathos” (The Independent), whilst the impact of Lily’s epilepsy is brought home through ingenious visual effects.

Thu Feb 12 HOCKNEY (15)
2014 UK 112min Director: Randall Wright

Featuring: David Hockney, Celia Birtwell, Ed Ruscha
One of Britain’s best loved artists – inventive, eccentric, wilful – David Hockney’s career has spanned six decades. From his paintings of New York and California in the 1960s, through experiments in optics, to the Grand Canyon series of the 2000s and his recent large-scale Yorkshire landscapes and iPad works, he has seldom stood still. This documentary skilfully teases out the connections between his art and his life in Britain and America. LGBT History Month screening.

My-Old-Lady-poster-20cmSat Feb 14 MY OLD LADY (12A) (2.30pm)
2014 UK/USA/France 107 mins Director: Israel Horovitz
Stars: Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, Dominique Pinon
Dame Maggie Smith has been a David Lean favourite since the cinema opened in 1995, featuring in some of its most popular titles: Tea With Mussolini, Gosford Park and Ladies In Lavender. It’s a pleasure, therefore, to showcase her first leading role in some time. Smith’s “old lady” has lifelong tenancy of a Parisian apartment, which comes as a shock to the New Yorker (Kline) who inherits the place. What begins as a comedy of manners becomes a thoughtful drama, with “ingenious twists along the way” (The Guardian).

Tue Feb 17 THE GRANDMASTER (15) (7.30pm)
2013 Hong Kong/China 108min (subtitled) Director: Wong Kar-wai
Stars: Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Zhao Benshan
Although Kar-wai is best known in the West for arthouse dramas, he has a lifelong love of martial arts cinema, and The Grandmaster combines his characteristic visual style with fast-paced action, creating “one of the most propulsive yet ethereal realisations of authentic martial arts on screen” (Variety). Chronicling the life of Ip Man (Leung), a master of the Wing Chun style, from the 1930s to 1950s, it was nominated for two Academy Awards in 2014.

Thu Feb 19 THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING (12A) (11am, 2.30pm, 7.30pm)
2014 UK 123min Director: James Marsh
Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, David Thewlis, Harry Lloyd, Maxine Peake
Graduate physicist Stephen Hawking was expected to live two years when diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1962. Instead, perhaps inspired by his engagement to arts student Jane Wilde (Jones), he survived gradual physical deterioration to rise to worldwide fame. Redmayne is superb as Hawking, recognising that his wit, charm and obstinacy were unchanged by illness. Marsh’s canny direction ensures that the passage of 28 years never appears forced or episodic.

Stations of the CrossTue Feb 24 STATIONS OF THE CROSS (15) (7.30pm)
2014 Germany 107min (subtitled) Director: Dietrich Brüggemann
Stars: Lea van Acken, Franziska Weisz, Florian Stetter
Fourteen-year-old Maria has been raised in an ultra-conservative Catholic sect, and struggles to live a normal teenaged life under the influence of her strict mother and persuasive pastor. With brilliantly choreographed scenes, a transfixing performance from van Acken as Maria, and a screenplay which won Best Script at the Berlin Film Festival, Stations of the Cross is poised perfectly between tragedy and black comedy. “Passionate, generous, witty… renews one’s faith in the power of slow art movies to change the world” (Evening Standard)

Thu Feb 26 PRIDE (15)
2014 UK 120min Director: Matthew Warchus
Stars: Ben Schnetzer, George MacKay, Paddy Considine, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West
A thoroughly enjoyable example of British cinema’s ability to combine laugh-out-loud comedy with social commentary, Pride retells the extraordinary true story of the support leant to striking Welsh miners by the London gay and lesbian community. A fine cast and Warchus’s direction demonstrates how these unlikely kindred spirits came together, bringing “the same energy and uplift as a great stage show” (Telegraph). LGBT History Month screening.

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